Posts Tagged ‘corporate video New York’

Video Production From the Road: Interview Space

October 24, 2012

This is not atypical: We travel to the other side of the world for a corporate video shoot, then the interviewee takes us to a generic conference room that could be located in Anywhere, USA. I say, respectfully: Are there any other options for a background, and they respond, respectfully: No!

If possible, the story can’t end there. It just doesn’t seem fair to our clients, who – trusting our production values and committed to consistency in video production — invest in these international jaunts. And so the search begins for elements that resonate place (Melbourne or Hong Kong or Paris – or Houston or Wilmington, Delaware) or industry space (software or manufacturing or law or whatever). Decisions about backgrounds depend first, upon the substance of the material in the video; second, upon availability; and third, upon creativity.

corporate video production, travel, business, melbourne, australiaFor example: Two weeks ago we videotaped at two different companies in Australia, both of which escorted us straight into their conference rooms upon arrival. The first company is in the medical software business, the second in HR compliance materials for online consumption. The actual industry background for these speakers are rooms occupied by individuals at computer desks – a setting almost as common as white-walled conference rooms. But in both cases, the companies sell solely into the Australian market, so backdrops that say “Australia” fill in some color. In the first case, we set the interviewee in front of a large window that overlooked a recognizable panorama of Melbourne. For the second, we added to the side of a window view some distinctive company props that had just been used at a trade show the week before, emphasizing both geography (the view) and branding.

Note that skylines can be tricky. Natural lighting is not uniform in places around the world or during different times of day, and familiarity with details of how it might fall in a particular place at a specific hour cannot be easily predicted from another corner on the globe. Key to successful execution is a good knowledge of lighting that ensures thoughtful yet expeditious set-ups as well as a good kit that not only contains all the necessary components, but is also mobile-friendly.

At a video shoot a few months ago in Washington DC, the nondescript conference room into which we were taken was windowless.  With only about 20 minutes to set up a two-camera shoot, our director of photography washed the walls in colors reflective of the interviewee’s agency – another alternative when few tools and no time were at our disposal.

Hong Kong, corporate video production, business travel, video marketing, interviewsOutdoor interviews work well, too, if the choice is between a quiet space that says nothing and an interesting street scene where noise might be a challenge. Here the interviewee must feel comfortable with the setting, and proper audio is crucial; if carried out well, the end result can be very visually interesting.

Last week in Hong Kong, we conducted an interview from the top of the Peak, overlooking the city below. It was a beautiful scene, unmistakably highlighting the speaker’s location, which is an important aspect of the nature of his work. We walked around the path for a bit to find a spot less populated with passersby. Nonetheless, there were a number of cold stops in the middle of sentences as people passed or made other noise. It was a small price to pay for the beauty and inherent message of the background. And it was a far better solution than videotaping in another typical conference room, indistinguishable from millions of others everywhere.

Read last week’s entry for Video Production From The Road on Flying Tips.

Two Video Shoots, 15+ Videos

April 8, 2012

I’ve talked about CRM software service firm Infinity Info Systems before, but they keep coming up on my blog horizon because they use video so wisely, extensively, affordably, and successfully to create web videos for marketing, recruitment, and industry focuses.  In the latest round of video production on which we worked with Infinity, two days of shooting resulted in 15 separate videos with more en route.

Key to this (and all video initiatives) was recognizing the goals of the project before diving into it so that the elements needed to make the videos effective would be captured. Brainstorming with Infinity prior to scheduling the shoot, V&V learned that their business is growing at a fast pace, requiring new hires with the types of skills and personalities that will fit into the needs and culture of the company. Infinity would also like to continue the expansion it has been experiencing. The latter goal requires making inroads into companies not yet falling under their orbit of services by providing information that distinguishes the company and sets forth its customized approach to working with clients in various vertical industries.

To accomplish these goals, Infinity hired V&V to videotape on two separate occasions. The first took place in Infinity’s NYC headquarters, where we interviewed many employees in depth about their experiences working there, the nature of their jobs and the detailed ways they feel the company excels in its service provisions. (Getting to the substantive bottom of interviewees’ thoughts is our MO!) We also grabbed visuals of collegial interactions and work routines. The second shoot took place on a customer event day, where information was shared with and between Infinity customers who are using Microsoft’s CRM software. In addition to capturing b-roll of the panel discussions and smaller group learning sessions that took place, V&V conducted interviews of a number of folks attending to learn how and why they are using the software and the ways Infinity has been a partner to them.

The net result so far includes 12 individual web videos running on Infinity’s recruitment page (see http://www.infinityinfo.com/CRMCareers), one marketing video discussing the way the company works in the Financial Services Industry (see http://www.infinityinfo.com/CRM-financial), a second marketing video about the company’s role in Life Sciences, and a third about Manufacturing. Additional business videos, utilizing the same raw material recorded, are currently in the planning stages.  All of these videos are relatively simple, consisting solely of a-roll (interview clips) mixed with b-roll, title cards as needed, power point slides and logos provided by Infinity, and background royalty-free music. They are to the point and effective for their purposes, which is the goal. And because so many non-elaborate videos were able to be carved out of only two shooting days, the cost of the project was very affordable.

Amazingly, Infinity just began using video six months ago! Today they credit the videos on which we have worked together as having played a key role in their acquisition of new business opportunities. We look forward to helping the company create an ever-expanding library of professional video as its business continues to grow.

Video Field Production at Manhattan’s Second Avenue Subway

February 6, 2012

The past number of blogs in this column have focused on end video productions. Some upcoming ones will highlight parts of the process that lead to that goal, shining light on those steps as they unfold.

Last week Voices & Visions had the opportunity to videotape a snippet of the construction of Manhattan’s new Second Avenue subway line with our client Moretrench, a geotechnical contractor specializing in the engineering and implementation of solutions for a spectrum of underground construction challenges in diverse conditions.  A few of the areas of the company’s expertise are dewatering and groundwater control, temporary earth retention, excavation support, deep foundation applications, and environmental remediation. Excelling in its service offerings, Moretrench is interested in having marketing videos created for its website to give browsers a visual peek into the thoroughness and quality of its services.

Curt always says that everyday is a field trip for us, and yesterday was a great example. Moretrench was a subcontractor, and their job was jack grouting,  with the goal of forming several seven foot-diameter columns underground so close that they form a retention wall. Advance preparation (pre-production) is useful, but being on the site personally, standing on street level, to witness the construction of an underground facility is awesome! I love the NYC subways, but rarely when I have waited on station platforms or zoomed through its maze of tunnels have I thought about the detailed, complex work that was involved in ensuring that the East River (for example) does not suddenly swallow up the tracks!

Our field production job was to translate our awe of the operation and its orchestration into elements that will speak to the target audience. Our client directed us to the site supervisor, who we asked to walk us through every step of the process, breaking down the information into sound bites that are comprehensible both for audiences in the industry and those who are newbies but are interested in the services of Moretrench. That’s my MO: Asking the interview questions that lead to more questions that lead to more questions, always with a smile and with the goal of total comprehension. I figure if I get, so will audience rookies.

new york city subway,  corporate video production, professional video, business video, new york video production company, marketing video

Not only that: The general contractor, for which Moretrench was the subcontractor, was on site and happy to say a few very complementary comments about the company which we can edit into a testimonial video for the web.

By the end of the shoot, we had collected what was transcribed into 20 pages of factual information, wonderful visuals, and a bunch of ideas regarding ways of cutting the material to be useful to the client.

Keep checking in for the video that will be created!

PS: Photos by Chris Ponnwitz, Marketing Coordinator, Moretrench

Corporate Video Production: An Idea A Day: Day 13

December 15, 2011

Video Testimonial for Publications

Like so many other videos we have produced in the last few years, the one I am about to discuss happened as a footnote to the primary videotaping goal, yet ultimately has become a great tool in the box of information the client wants to market.

As discussed in yesterday’s blog, we videotaped this year’s annual Private Equity International (PEI) Investor Relations & Communications Forum (IRCF) held in New York. PEI is an independent worldwide financial information group focused on the alternative asset classes of private equity, real estate and infrastructure. In addition to organizing 24 important global conferences on topics related to PEI’s focus (like the IRCF), the organization publishes five internationally-recognized magazines and five news websites, manages extensive databases, and publishes more than 25 specialist books and directories.

The initial videotaping goal was to capture as much good footage of the event and  enough quotes from a number of participants discussing why they attend and how it stands out in the industry to produce a short video about the Forum. As the concept grew in pre-production, it was recognized that the interviewees could also discuss the value they get from subscribing to and reading PEI publications. Since there was little b-roll to use to embellish that story and complicated motion graphics were not on the agenda of this production, we ensured that we captured very succinct, thorough and articulate sound bites so that we could keep respondents’ faces on screen for most of the length of their sound bites without needing to cut minor speech insertions. We asked questions in a number of ways until we got the sound bites we wanted – in terms of content and transmission style. We made a simple motion graphic using pages of one of the organization’s magazines. Here is the final edited video:

In essence, this is a testimonial video applauding PEI’s outstanding publications. Just under one minute in length, the video stands a good chance of being watched by even the busiest of industry professionals who find it online. By separating out the message about the publications from the message about the conference, the viewer gets clear information about both subjects. And with impressive sound bites from known and respected thought leaders, PEI should be getting ready to increase its subscription base.

 

Corporate Video Production: An Idea A Day: Day 12

December 14, 2011

Video Highlights of Conferences

Conferences are very important to organizers for many reasons: They establish reputation in the industry by bringing together impressive speakers, they convey information that is appreciated by attendees, and they often bring in profit. They also cost a lot of money to execute, so producers carry a burden of ensuring the success of the objectives, which includes incentivizing attendees and others to return for future events.

Enter another benefit of corporate video production! While the presence of some photos and a few quotes on a web page lauding a forum are advisable, a video portraying real speakers and scenes can transport the viewer to the event, underscoring the value of participation in a way that no other media can accomplish.

Example: Private Equity International (PEI) prides itself in providing “alternative insight.” Through its numerous publications and global conferences and training sessions, PEI offers authoritative, informative and useful content covering issues in the alternative asset classes of private equity, infrastructure, real estate, and real assets.

One of the important conferences PEI spearheads each year is its Investor Relations & Communications Forum held in New York, which our corporate video production company Voices & Visions was asked to videotape, then edit into a production for PEI to showcase to prospective attendees via its website and other online sites. The video captured background shots of a number of sessions, the ample networking opportunities, the amiable spirit that characterized the atmosphere, and many interviews with session leaders and participants discussing the unique benefits of this event. PEI hoped the video would attract two audiences: those specifically focused on next year’s event on this topic and viewers with more general interests for whom the video can provide insight into the value of all the conferences and training sessions PEI spearheads.

In addition to posting the video on multiple online locations, PEI will need to use social media and other outlets to let its audiences know about the video and where they can access it so that it does its intended job. That aspect of the campaign goes to marketing strategies – a story for a different blog! From the corporate video production end, PEI has distinguished itself by highlighting the value that its events convey through enabling interested folks to peek into the virtual window of one of their important annual conferences.

 

Corporate Video Production: An Idea A Day: Day 10

December 12, 2011

Since we specialize in both corporate video production and documentaries and find many similarities in the two arenas, our business clients in the New York / New Jersey metro area and other places with whom we work on marketing, web clip, investor relations, HR, testimonial, nonprofit, or other types of videos also come to us when documentary projects loom.

The term “documentary” is used here broadly, intended to apply to programs as short as five minutes and as long as 1.5 or more hours. Outlets for documentaries we have created have been as diverse as film festivals, PBS/cable stations, online networks, and internal corporate channels. Sometimes a company wants a documentary created to mark a special anniversary and plans to screen it only for its own employees and customers/prospective customers. Combining new video from all locations relevant to the storyline with the corporation’s archives of photos, past film or video, and other materials, a documentary can be produced that generates pride and excitement. In other instances, an organization is beginning a new and exciting project and would like to have it recorded as it unfolds, then create a documentary post-experience. In addition to internal audiences, sometimes these pieces contain messages worthwhile to share with wider crowds via the Internet or film festivals. And in some cases we are approached by an organization that has learned through one of our clients about our background in this genre and approaches us to help bring a special project to documentary life.

The last situation materialized recently.  An organization called Someday Melissa contacted us (via one of our clients) with a documentary in need of post-production about a 19-year old girl named Melissa who tragically lost her life to an eating disorder. The group came to us with the video shot and a first draft documentary of 60 minutes already edited; they said they wanted the hour-long version tweaked, then they wanted to have a 30 minute production edited. They also wanted a trailer for the program.

We recognized that the 60-minute version required more than tweaking. While we were limited story-wise by the interviews and video provided, we were able to envision ways of reorganizing the footage and changing some of the sound bites and shots to provide a much tighter and more compelling story. We worked with musicians on audio that underscored the feelings in the piece, and we edited the shots carefully and with emphasis on the most important events and messages. Transforming the project from its original version to the new one required two weeks rather than the day or two initially anticipated, but the end project was powerful.

Once the 60-minute version had been completed, we were fully familiar with the storyline details and materials supporting it, and we had the opportunity to re-imagine storylines in shorter time constraints, editing the half-hour piece and trailer were much less time-consuming. The latter can be seen on the organization’s website:

The documentary Someday Melissa: The Story of an Eating Disorder, Loss and Hope has just been made an Official Selection at its first festival, the 2012 California Independent Film Festival. It has been submitted to many others and is also screening at community forums and academic institutions. Now we are videotaping the stories that continue evolving as the film impacts its audiences, with the web and social media outlets promising additional educational opportunities for the new footage with the hope that Someday Melissa will help curb the devastation experienced by so many people suffering from eating disorders.